Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, July 28, 2022


Maya Golden-Krasner, (213) 215-3729,

States Push National Greenhouse Gas Pollution Cap

Seven States, Guam Urge EPA to Limit Climate Pollution Under Clean Air Act

WASHINGTON— Seven states and the territory of Guam called on President Biden and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today to set a nationwide greenhouse gas pollution cap under the Clean Air Act.

The announcement comes as the EPA considers a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity and to list greenhouse gases as “criteria pollutants” and set a nationwide emissions cap in the form of a National Ambient Air Quality Standard.

“These states are part of the vanguard, recognizing this one rule can make major cuts to climate pollution from all sectors of the economy,” said Maya Golden-Krasner, deputy director of the Center’s Climate Law Institute. “A climate pollution cap would show the world that Biden is on offense, using the full playbook to confront the climate emergency.”

Earlier this year, the EPA reopened consideration of the 2009 petition when it withdrew the Trump administration’s denial, noting that “the agency did not fully and fairly assess the issues raised by the petition.”

The climate-pollution cap approach is drawing renewed interest in light of the Supreme Court’s recent West Virginia v. EPA decision. In the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts noted that “capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal may be a sensible solution to the crisis of the day” — just not under the specific provision of the Clean Air Act at issue in the case.

A nationwide greenhouse gas pollution cap is a central premise of the progressive Climate President action plan and model executive order, spearheaded by the Center and supported by nearly 750 climate and environmental justice groups.

The plan urges President Biden to confront the climate emergency with the full powers that Congress has granted the executive branch under existing laws. It also includes measures to advance environmental and racial justice. These include directing all federal agencies to address disproportionate health and environmental harms to communities of color and low-wealth communities.

“The ferocious heatwaves we’ve been suffering show just how dangerous climate-heating pollution is to people and the planet,” said Golden-Krasner. “Protecting against climate collapse is fully within Biden’s power, and a climate pollution cap is one of the best places to start.”

San Ardo Oil Fields | San Ardo, California by Drew Bird Photography Image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

center locations